Magazine January 23, 2012, Issue

License to Photocopy

The Xerox logo on a photocopier. (Catherine Benson/Reuters)

The new year brings new laws — over 40,000 statutes at the state level, each another incremental criminalization of some element of life. If every law in the country were eliminated tomorrow and a new batch drawn up, it’s hard to see how we could write more than 500, because after that you’re writing laws as stupid as “The guy who runs the copier at Kinko’s shall be licensed by the state” or banning beer with caffeine. Hold on: California just did that. Apparently perk-me-up lager is a problem in the Golden State, but it’s solved forever now. It would

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